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Life-Span Development Chapter 11: Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence. McGraw-Hill. © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. The Nature of Adolescence. What physical changes occur in adolescence?

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slide1
Life-Span Development

Chapter 11:

Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence

McGraw-Hill

© 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

the nature of adolescence
The Nature of Adolescence

What physical changes occur in adolescence?

  • Pubertal with rapid physical changes involving hormones
  • Menarche is a girl’s first menstruation
  • Puberty is also triggered by body mass
  • Genetic factors are involved in puberty
  • Puberty involves the interaction of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and gonads
  • The onset of puberty varies among individuals
slide3

Norway

18

Finland

Sweden

17

U.K.

16

U.S.A.

15

Median age (years) at menarche

14

13

12

1840

1860

1880

1900

1920

1940

1960

1980

Year

Median Ages at Menarche in Selected Northern European Countries and the United States from 1845 to 1969

Fig. 12.1

slide4
Most noticeable physical changes include
    • Pubic hair growth
    • Facial and chest hair growth in males
    • Breast growth in females
    • Increased height and weight
    • Sexual maturity
  • Adolescent sexuality is initiated by
    • First ejaculation, voice change, penis elongation, and testes development in males
    • Highly irregular menstrual cycles, rounding of breasts, and widening of hips in females
slide5

Boys

Testosterone (pg/ml)

Estradiol (pg/ml)

Girls

500

110

400

90

70

300

50

200

30

100

10

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

0

1

2

3

4

5

Pubertal stage

Hormone Levels by Sex and Pubertal Stage for Testosterone and Estradiol

Fig. 12.2

slide6
Early onset of puberty can create risks for females
    • Depression
    • Eating disorders
    • Use of alcohol, drugs, and/or tobacco
    • Earlier dating and sexual involvement with males
    • Possible lower educational attainment
  • Pubertal changes have a strong effect on the adolescent’s body image, dating interest, and sexual behavior
slide7

+.30

+.20

+.10

Body Image Score

Mean

-.10

-.20

-.30

Grade 6

Grade 10

Early- and Late-Maturing Adolescent Girls’ Perceptions of Body Image in Early and Late Adolescence

Early development

Late development

Fig. 12.5

slide8

Height spurt

Penile growth

Menarche

Testicular growth

Breast growth

Growth of pubic hair

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Normal Range and Average Development of Sexual Characteristics in Males and Females

Males

Females

Onset (average)

Completion (average)

Age (years)

Fig. 12.4

adolescent sexuality
Adolescent Sexuality
  • Adolescent sexuality is a time of exploration, experimentation, and sexual fantasies
  • Adolescence is a bridge between the asexual child and sexual adulthood – reaction of each society may vary
  • Television and other media contribute to the sexual culture
  • Developing a sexual identity involves
    • Sexual behavior
    • Indication of sexual orientation
slide10
Percentages of sexually active young adolescents in the United States vary greatly
  • Male, African American, and inner-city adolescents report being the most sexually active
  • Early sexual activity is linked to other risky behaviors and to contracting STIs
  • Self-regulation and parent–child relationships are two important factors in sexual risk-taking
  • Adolescents are increasing their use of contraceptives
  • Cross-culturally, the United States still has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy and birth rates
slide11

80

U.S.

England and Wales

60

Canada

France

40

Sweden

20

0

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

Year

Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Adolescent Pregnancy Rates

Fig. 12.6

the adolescent brain
The Adolescent Brain
  • Spurts in the brain’s electrical activity at 9, 12, 15 and 18 to 20 may signal changes in cognitive development
  • Neural activity using dopamine increases.
  • Synaptic pruning continues.
  • Some of the most recent discoveries regarding areas of the brain involved emotions and information-processing
    • The amygdala, which is involved in processing information about emotion, develops before the frontal lobes.
adolescent substance abuse
Adolescent Substance Abuse
  • Monitoring the Future Study began in 1975
    • 1960s and 1970s were a time of marked increases in the use of illicit drugs and social unrest
    • Annual studies since 1975 show that adolescent drug use among U.S. secondary school students
      • Declined in the 1980s
      • Began to increase in the 1990s
      • Declined among high school seniors after 1998
    • Explanations for declining rates vary
    • Parents and peers can influence usage attitudes
adolescent alcohol and nictotine
Adolescent Alcohol and Nictotine
  • The percentage of 8th, 10th and 12th graders reporting that they had used alcohol in the past 30 days dropped from 26 to 21% from 96 to 2003, and the percentage of students reporting binge drinking dropped from 41 to 31%. The percentage of high school cigarette smokers dropped from 36% in 97 to 24% in 2003.
  • Risk factors for smoking include: having a friend who smoked, a weak academic orientation and low parental support.
slide15

60

40

20

0

1975

1979

1983

1987

1991

1995

1999

2003

1977

1981

1985

1989

1993

1997

2001

Year

Percentage of students who reported illicit drug use in past 12 months

Trends in Drug Use by U.S. Eighth-, Tenth-, and Twelfth-Grade Students

12th grade

10th grade

8th grade

Fig. 12.8

slide16

Control group

Experimental group

Percentage Reporting Use in their Lifetime of:

Alcohol

Cigarette smoking

90

60

85

55

80

50

75

45

70

40

65

35

60

30

55

25

50

20

Baseline

Baseline

3 mos

1 yr

3 mos

1 yr

Young Adolescents’ Reports of Use in the Family Matters Program

Initial reporting and 1st & 2nd follow-up

Figs. 12.9 and 12.10

eating disorders
Eating Disorders
  • Eating problems and disorders are increasingly common in adolescence – most notably, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
  • Since the 1960s, a higher percentage of adolescents have become overweight
  • Most anorexics are White adolescents or young adult females from well-educated, middle- and upper-income families
    • Stress results from not achieving high expectations
    • Weight becomes something they can control
anorexia nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa
  • Refusal to maintain body weight above the minimal normal weight for individual’s height and weight.
    • Body weight 15% or more below normal
    • Intense fear of gaining weight
    • Distortion of body image
    • Amenorrhea (cessation of menstruation)
    • Secondary symptoms: slow heart rate, low blood pressure, low body temperature
    • Often associated with depression, obsessions and compulsions
    • 10X more common in males.
bulimia nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa
  • Eating binges and inappropriate compensatory measures to prevent weight gain (at least 2X/week for 3 months).
    • Attempts to compensate for binging may include purging, vomiting, fasting, laxatives, enemas or exercise.
    • Preoccupation with food and intense fear of gaining weight.
    • Binging is not the result of a need for food
    • Often associated with depression and obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
    • Generally of normal weight.
risk factors for eating disorders
Risk Factors for Eating Disorders
  • Feeling negatively about your body early in adolescence
  • Having negative relationships with parents
  • Being sexually active and in pubertal transition.
  • Being highly motivated to look like same-sex media figures.
  • Watching 4+ hours of tv per day
  • Being from a well-educated, middle or upper income family.
adolescent health
Adolescent Health
  • Adolescent health is of great importance –
    • Many factors linked to poor health habits and early death in adulthood begin in adolescence
  • U.S. adolescents exercised less and ate more junk food than adolescents in 28 countries.
  • Early formation of healthy behavior patterns has
    • Immediate benefits
    • Prevents or delays major causes of premature disability or death
slide22

15

10

5

1966-1970

1971-1974

1976-1980

1988-1994

1999

Year

The Increase in Being Overweight in Adolescence from 1968 to 1999 in the United States

Percentage overweight adolescents, 12-19 years of age

Fig. 12.11

slide23
Nutrition, exercise, and adolescent sleep patterns have physiological and psychological effects
    • At home
    • During school
    • In social interactions
  • Most adolescents do not get enough sleep and sleep deprivation seems associated with lower self-esteem and higher incidence of depression.
  • Leading causes of adolescent death
    • Accidents (account for ½ of teen deaths) – most are motor vehicle related and driver has a blood alcohol level of .1 or higher in ½ of fatal car accidents.
    • Homicide – second leading cause of death
    • Suicide – rate has tripled since 1950s
adolescent cognition
Adolescent Cognition
  • Adolescent cognition shows greater abstract quality in ability to
    • Solve problems by verbal means alone
    • Create make-believe or purely hypothetical situations
    • Engage in extended speculation and test solutions systematically
    • Engage in “hypothetico-deductive reasoning,” which involves formulating and testing possible solutions to problems.
  • Assimilation dominates development of thought
  • In later adolescence, accommodation returns to thinking and information-processing
slide25
Adolescent egocentrism involves two types of social thinking: imaginary audience and personal fable
  • Adolescents have a sense of uniqueness and invincibility
  • Invincibility attitudes are likely to be associated with reckless behavior such as
    • Drug use
    • Suicide
    • Having unprotected sex
slide26
Adolescence is a time of increased decision-making
  • Situations are examined from multiple perspectives, and consequences anticipated
  • A strategy for improving adolescent decision-making includes parental involvement
  • Cognitive changes that improve critical thinking include
    • Increased speed of information-processing
    • Wider range of knowledge in variety of domains
    • Increased ability to construct new knowledge
    • Having more strategies to apply knowledge
slide27
The transition from elementary to middle or junior high school is of interest because
    • It can be stressful
    • It occurs at a time when family–child relationships change
    • Puberty and concerns about body image accompany changes in social cognition
    • A more impersonal school structure is entered
    • There is increased responsibility and independence
    • The “top-dog phenomenon” is experienced
    • Creating effective and positive environments for student learning is needed
slide28
Recommendations for effective schools include
    • Develop smaller communities that lessen impersonality of middle schools
    • Lower student–counselor ratios to 10-to-1
    • Involve parents and community leaders
    • Develop curricula that produce better students
    • Integrate several disciplines in a flexible curriculum
    • Have more student health and fitness programs
slide29
U.S. high school education is of concern because of these facts:
    • Some students graduate with inadequate skills
    • Unskilled students go into college remedial classes
    • Dropouts lack adequate workplace skills
    • Dropout rates have declined over last 50 years
    • Dropout rates are highest among minorities
    • Students drop out of school for many reasons
slide30

Latino

African American

Total

White

40

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

1972

1976

1980

1984

1988

1992

1996

2000

Percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who have dropped out of school

Trends in High School Dropout Rates

Fig. 12.12

slide31
High schools for the future need to promote
    • More awareness of knowledge and skills needed by students upon graduation
    • Higher expectations for student achievement
    • Strong, positive adult role models
    • Higher-quality work experiences
    • More coordination and communication among all grade levels
    • More student service learning experiences